Metropolis Magazine’s Living Cities competition has resulted in several interesting concepts, and yesterday, Curbed reported on AMLGM’s scheme for a mass of tubular towers over Queens. Another winning entry from the competition is NBRS + Partners’ vision for a development along The High Line, situated on the site now occupied by Related’s 500 West 30th Street.
NBRS’ page on the project gives a detailed overview of the intentions and ideas behind the structure’s design. Perhaps the most important take-away is the building’s versatility, as the “expressive steel structure solution permits agility,” which “allows for flexible internal space planning, future proofing the base building against the pressures of demography, market and demand.”
Introducing the concept of ‘future-proofing’ is especially pertinent to the renewed debate regarding landmarking in Manhattan, as the vast majority of the city’s current building stock was not built with the distant future in mind, which is resulting in a myriad of issues across the region.
Designing structures that are meant to last forever should be considered and encouraged, as the vast majority of New York’s current stock was built for profit, not permanence. VIVO hits on this idea with the versatility of the tower’s exoskeleton, as the interiors can be transformed to accommodate any number of uses.
Besides the adaptability of NBRS’ vision, the building would also integrate The High Line, presenting an idea that has been touched upon but never fully embraced by developments adjacent to the park. Related’s towers at the Hudson Yards represent a step forward — with The High Line set to become an integral aspect of 10 Hudson Yards‘ lobby — but VIVO takes the park to the next level, pushing its “vitality vertically to reach the New York skyline some 40 stories above.”
The vision for VIVO offers a forward-thinking take on vertical living that will hopefully be emulated in other sites, adjacent to The High Line or otherwise — and while 500 West 30th Street is now home to the Robert A.M. Stern-designed ‘Abington,’ opportunities for projects that truly push the envelope along The High Line remain.
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